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Kenya Offers Cash Reward for Info on Bombing Suspects - 2002-12-09

Police in Kenya are offering a substantial cash reward for information about two men suspected of taking part in last month's attacks in the coastal city of Mombasa.

Mombasa police said they are offering nearly $6,300, a huge sum of money in Kenya, for information that can help identify the two men they believe were involved in the attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner on November 28.

Senior Police Chief William Langat released black-and-white, computer-generated images of the suspects. The men are believed to be between 30 and 45-years-old. One of the men is shown with a full beard, thick eyebrows and some hair loss. The other man is mostly bald.

Officer Langat said the images are based on eyewitness descriptions.

On Sunday, the al-Qaida terrorist organization reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa and the failed attempt to simultaneously shoot down an Israeli airliner with shoulder-launched missiles. The bombing killed 13 Kenyans and three Israelis.

In a statement posted on the Internet, leading al-Qaida member, Sulaiman Bu Ghaith, vowed even more lethal strikes against Israel and its chief ally, the United States. He said that al-Qaida would continue to target Israeli and U.S. installations and facilities all over the world.

The former Muslim cleric is believed to be a close associate of al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, and is among the men being vigorously pursued by the United States.

The Mombasa police said they have shared their computer images with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, and are cooperating in the investigation with other U.S. officials.

Kenyan authorities will not say what extra security measures they have taken following the al-Qaida claim. But they say security throughout the country has been increased at all hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants that are popular with Westerners.